Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) hinted Wednesday that he received blowback from the White House for criticizing President Obama's handling of the flood of child immigrants crossing the border.
Cuellar said he received a call from the White House after his criticism but declined to elaborate.
"But let me just say this," he said on Fox News. "I'm more concerned not about who gets angry at the White House, I'm more concerned about my constituents that want to find a practical solution to this question that we're facing down there at the border."
Later Wednesday, Cuellar said Obama can either visit the border during his trip to Texas or he can continue to "look aloof and detached."
Cuellar also criticized Obama for shooting pool in Denver the night before, calling it a "bizarre" photo opportunity.
"When I saw that, it just really floored me because if he said he is too busy to go down to the border but you have time to dink a beer — the optics, I mean just the appearance means that he is not paying attention to this humanitarian crisis," Cuellar said on MSNBC.
On Sunday, the Blue Dog Democrat said the administration is one step behind the crisis, and the administration should have been prepared for the more than 52,000 unaccompanied children apprehended this year crossing the border.
Cuellar, who represents a border district, is one in a number of Democrats calling for Obama to visit the border during his trip to Texas on Wednesday for a pair of fundraisers.
Obama is instead meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and other local leaders in Dallas. The White House has highlighted a number of administration officials who have visited the border.
"I want to thank him for meeting with Gov. Rick Perry," Cuellar said. "But the only thing is that meeting is 500 miles away from the border, which makes it even worse, because he's meeting with some local leaders. I have no idea who they are."
Cuellar said Obama owns the problem whether he goes to the border.
"But personally, I think a leader will be defined by how he handles a challenge," he said. "And I think one of the things he needs to do is roll up his sleeves, go down there to the border, talk to the community leaders there."
Cuellar has also advocated for Obama to use executive action to change a 2008 law to speed up the deportation process for children from countries that do not border the United States. On Tuesday, the administration requested a $3.7 billion package from Congress to help care for the children and speed up deportation proceedings.
—Updated 12:45 p.m.